Published on May 8th, 2016 | by Millennium Magazine Staff0
Connected Cars 101; A Quick Lesson On Vehicle Data And How It Affects You
|Educating yourself can help ensure your protection.|
(NAPSI)—There is no question that today’s automobiles—and the computers that run them—do more than ever before. Benefits range from alerting you to needed repairs before your car breaks down or spotting a car in your blind spot, to in-dash apps that can zoom in on the closest available parking lot or quickly download menus and reviews for nearby restaurants.
In addition to the added convenience and safety benefits these technology advancements provide, many of today’s vehicles have the ability to monitor and collect data that can be sent to a manufacturer and then downloaded or transmitted to a third-party such as a dealership for repair purposes.
You’ve probably heard the term “connected car,” but you may not understand what that term means. Here’s a primer:
About Connected Cars
Connected vehicles leverage wireless connectivity to enable a range of services for drivers and their passengers, such as communication, infotainment, navigation, crash prevention, traffic management, vehicle diagnostics and prognostics, and even promotional offerings. Other benefits include remote starting or door unlocking, vehicle health reports and assistance if you are involved in a crash or your vehicle is stolen.
Data Connected Cars Gather
According to R.L. Polk & Co., nearly one in five new cars sold in theU.S. today has the ability to connect to cellular networks, and that is expected to grow to all new cars by 2025. Many automakers are expanding the types and volume of data they collect from connected cars, which transmit vital information on vehicle performance, location, operation and health. They also have the potential to collect data about driving behaviors—such as car speed, braking and acceleration—and other information that many drivers would prefer to remain private, such as locations you visit most often, radio usage, phone operation and even the number of people in your car.
Currently, automakers have almost exclusive access to your car’s data, with the exception of some diagnostic information. Terms of service agreed to by consumers at the time of sale or during service can allow for many types of information to be collected.
Many consumers might be concerned about how the connected car industry has created trade-offs between innovative services and drivers’ ability to make choices about car data.
AAA Is Here To Help
As an advocate for motorists, AAA is engaging with both policymakers and members of industry to help ensure that the growth of connected-car technologies does not outpace consumer awareness.
AAA continues to urge car manufacturers, government regulators and other parties involved in the development of connected-car features to adopt AAA’s Consumer Rights for Car Data, which includes three guiding principals:
• Transparency: Consumers have the right to clearly understand what information is being collected from their vehicle and how it is being used. Businesses and the government should be transparent about the collection and use of vehicle data.
• Choice: Consumers have a right to decide with whom to share their data and for what purpose. This includes ongoing monitoring of vehicle systems, repair and any data of the vehicle owner’s choice. Customers should not be forced to relinquish control as a condition of purchasing or leasing a vehicle or of receiving a connected-vehicle service.
• Security: Consumers have a right to expect that connected-vehicle manufacturers and service providers will use reasonable measures to protect vehicle data systems and services against unauthorized access and misuse.
“AAA remains committed to ensuring consumers understand and are able to realize all the benefits that connected cars have to offer,” said AAA President and CEO Marshall L. Doney.
What You Can Do
Educating yourself can help ensure your protection. When in the market for a new vehicle, do your research ahead of time. Once at a dealership, ask about that automaker’s data collection practices, and carefully read all documents at the point of purchase. AAA also encourages you to share with the manufacturer or technology provider your thoughts on connected-car services and privacy issues.